Testing and monitoring equipment vendor Tektronix is promising to let cable operators proactively keep tabs on RF errors and failures -- before they generate irate subscriber calls -- with an extension to its line of video-monitoring products.
Sentry Edge II is designed to detect RF modulation and transport-stream errors with post-QAM monitoring. The device can be deployed at the headend, hub or other locations, according to Tektronix.
The original Sentry line, which Beaverton, Ore.-based Tektronix obtained with the May 2010 acquisition of privately held Mixed Signals, monitors MPEG video for abnormalities to catch video-quality issues.
"The video and audio errors that can ruin subscribers' [quality of experience] can originate anywhere in today's increasingly complex networks, so monitoring network-wide is vital for resolving these errors before they impact subscribers," said Eben Jenkins, general manager of Tektronix's video product line.
Sentry Edge II is currently available in either 4- or 8-tuner one-rack-unit-high models. Both have the ability to monitor RF signals up to 1 GHz.
According to Tektronix, the Sentry Edge II provides high-quality modulation error ratio (MER) measurements of up to 41dB. That lets MSOs detect cases when signal quality has degraded to the point where it can't be demodulated by the set-top box.